The following post was contributed to RevolutionTruth by Brett Leben. Brett is from a small, rural town in North Dakota, USA. He works for a small masonry company, and previously was an income tax preparer, which was recently given up to return to college. Relations with the local Native Americans, experiencing their discrimination and hardships first hand has shown him the necessity of equality. The internet gets credit for an understanding of how important information is to everyone. Logic tells him the truth is all that matters. He is planning to pursue a greater understanding of Political Science and of writing ability.
A common occurrence in the USA is getting “caught in traffic”. Happenings on the roads prevent people from efficiently reaching their destination all the time, be it a delay from traffic or from emergency management. A not-so-common situation is a terrorist causing these delays. Still, the search for the enemy has recently been taken to the interstates. The new tactics are more than unnecessary. They actually imply our country is approaching a grave state; a state of constant, unwarranted warfare that seems to be approaching persecution.
To clarify my claims, it must be understood that the state of Tennessee began conducting roadside checkpoints, backed by the Transportation Security Administration. Cars and trucks are being searched randomly at certain locations along the interstates. Citizens’ tax dollars fund the TSA and, as of late, more and more of the limited resources have been going to this agency. The stated goal of the new joint operation: anti-terrorism. Or, is it to keep the terror alive?
I’m going to call it: Operation Needle in a Haystack. Here is why. Checkpoints were simultaneously set up at seven locations in Tennessee; five at weigh stations and two at bus depots. The average daily traffic count on a mere 12 mile stretch of I-55 ranged from 40,000-90,000 vehicles in 2002. This statistic accounts for only a small fraction of daily traffic in the state. Millions of innocent civilians will be searched in the hopes of finding the few we consider terrorists.
I can’t understand how this will help at all, let alone be any bit efficient. Is it really the best place to spend the money we do not have? A super-committee for deficit reduction is currently working. The government is broke and has been on the verge of shutting down repeatedly because of it. Another reason given by the law is to encourage more responsible citizenry, asking motorists to call in anything seen as suspicious. Again, is this the most effective way to promote that? A newspaper advertisement or press release seems a little more sensible. I doubt that any American is unaware of the terrorist threat in the first place. Furthermore, do they really want everyone calling in every time they see a car without a license plate? How many 911 operators are there?
Unfortunately, the stunt also resembles some nasty occurrences of the past. Checkpoints are one way the Nazi party found Jewish-belief people trying to flee the country during The Holocaust. China conducted less widely known searches in 2006. Roadblocks were used to ensure no one escaped with dogs after a rabies outbreak caused a calling for 50,000 canine deaths. This type of action is to be expected from the oppressive authoritarian style regimes. But, here in the USA, we are supposed to have liberty, the land of the free. Having a vehicle searched or torn apart is not freedom or privacy. If we continue to let actions like this go unchecked, it is terrifying to think what they might turn into.
I can only believe the TSA’s action is more of the same old propaganda, keeping the fear of terrorists alive. Why do I think that? I don’t see any rational reason for wasting people’s already limited time and tax dollars in hopes of finding a needle in a haystack. But I do see that, without the idea of terrorists, there would be no reason for war except for the real reason, oil. It is hard to justify mass killings for oil. Terrorists though, they are evil and give a good reason to occupy foreign lands. A rather infamous quote from Hermann Goering, prominent Nazi leader, explains it well:
“Why of course the people don’t want war…That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.”
It is a good thing Goering included democracy and voice in his list. I was starting to get worried. Are we really under attack by terrorists, and am I unpatriotic? I think our minds are under attack as well as the Arabs, just because they unknowingly settled on oil rich lands. Hard to tell though, since the only thing we seem to have learned from the Vietnam War is not to count civilian casualties. Estimates have ranged from 100,000 to well over a million Arab/Muslim civilian deaths since the start of the current Iraq war, depending on the source. How many is considered persecution anyway? That’s up to you to define.
In the end, if we dare not call it a persecution, it is unnecessary warfare, fueled by propaganda, bombarding our minds. Unnecessary invasions of freedom, unnecessary spending of our tax dollars is also part of the formula. The word unnecessary is coming up all too often lately. We need to take a step back and start asking ourselves the tough questions. Are we really being the promoters of equality and freedom? Are we doing the right thing? Or have we succumbed to the endless propaganda from those we want to trust?